tv CNN Newsroom CNN January 21, 2012 10:00am-11:00am EST
baumline. reach out to me, christine romans. don't forget about my new book with ali velshi "how to speak money." how to make decisions about your student loans, mortgages, loans, all that. 4 good morning, it's 10:00 a.m. in columbia, south carolina, 7:00 a.m. in sacramento, california. it is decision day in south carolina. voters are making their choice in what appears to be a tight race between mitt romney and newt gingrich. speaking of romney and gingrich, they're headed for a showdown later this hour. not just the election, but at tommy's country ham house in greenville, south carolina. they'll both be there at the same time. as a matter of fact, mitt romney showed up. he showed up early, which is kind of interesting. we'll take you there. plus, a lot of people are dealing with rough weather today. meteorologist reynolds rolf will
show you. from the cnn center in atlanta, georgia, this is "cnn saturday morning." i'm gary tuchman. for three hours and counting that is how long south carolinaens have been voting. in between are these three members of our cnn team. our don lemon is talking to voters in lexington. paul steinhauser is watching the candidates from columbia. schon na sheppard is watching the action. she's been watching newt gingrich for a long time. he's one of the two front-runner s at the ham house. it sounds funny. how did they end up going to the same restaurant in the same state at the same time? >> reporter: you know, gary, the candidates are saying it was purely a coincidence that the two are going to end up at tommy's country hamhouse in
greenville. you know, i don't know if there's more to it or not. but you're seeing governor mitt romney right now. >> we voted for you already! it's a little hard for us to hear the former massachusetts governor right now. we do hear the people cheering. what do we expect to hear from mitt romney, and why do we think he's shown up early? none of these candidates ever show up anywhere early. they show up late.
do you think this is part of the strategy, to get there before newt gingrich? all right. i don't think she can hear us. that's what we can tell you. it's the most interesting scenario. this is something we really don't see. these campaign stops are coordinated so care employ by the teams of the presidential candidates, to have them show up at the same place, the same time, same state on the day of possibly the most critical primary of the circuit, iowa and new hampshire, the important of the first two, but you've had a crescendo decent upon the state of south carolina and it's crucial. if romney wins and newt grin grilled cheese has a poor second, that could make mitt romney the inevitable nominee. let's see if we can -- let's hear if we can listen to mitt
romney. no audio. he's going to have ham at the ham house like newt gingrich. first let's go to don lemon. he got there bright and early. he made some coffee. not part of the job description but he made coffee. he's voting as different. i don't know if that's particularly complimentary. how is it going? >> reporter: it's going great. i didn't get here bright and early. i got here bright and early. listen. you were talking about -- we've been talking about voter turnout. look out there. that's going to really make a difference because it's raining outside. the rain started to come down pretty hard, and you know the weather has everything to do, gary tuchman. you've been covering politics for a long time. it's got everything to to with turnout. people here are pretty excited. you guys went to mitt romney. guess who we have. we've got dan brazil, randy half acre, the current mayor and the former mayor of this here town.
what a great combo. we were talking about voters' turnout. shirley, how many have we had? 16 -- 566 people. >> it's only 10:00, so it's a long way to go. >> what do you think about the turnout? >> so far i think it's been good given the weather. it's been very good. i'm very optimistic. >> have you voted yet, mayor? >> i have not. >> reporter: you're the current mayor. >> yes, sir, yes, sir. >> reporter: what do you think? >> reporter: it's great to have you here, one of the best communities in the world. >> reporter: who are you going to vote for? >> i'll make that decision when i get in the voting booth. i like to cogitate, you know, debate back and forth.
>> reporter: how are you doing, mr. brazil? >> i'm good. >> reporter: what do you think about turnout? >> i think it's light at this point, but i think by the end of the day, if we don't get drowned with rain, we'll have a lot of folks here turn out. it will be better. >> reporter: now the million question. who did you vote for? >> i voted for newt gingrich. >> reporter: why? >> because i think he's the best guy in the race. >> reporter: thank you both. i've heard a lot of newt. even women. they say women are not going to vote for newt because of that whole thing but they're voting for newt. there you go. we've got the current, the former, rain outside, but we've got a lot of people showing up. is that congressman? >> yes, sir. congressman joe wilson just coming in to vote. there he is right there. congressman, how are you? we're live on cnn. >> how are you doing?
>> i beat you to the punch. >> reporter: it's good seeing you. we're going to talk to you guys. we've got to get back to cnn. they geev tot go to another event. it's good to see you. gary, we'll throw it back to you. we're having a good time. we don't have any ham, but we've got voters. >> that's why i love live tv. congressman comes in, he walks across the room, and you're yelling to the lady, how many voters. that's great tv. >> i've got to go make more tv. >> go make more of that different tv. thank you. there are plenty of stories to watch in south carolina today but let's focus on four crucial counties that can determine the whole race. we started in greenville. it has the largest number of republican voters in the statement lexington county where don was meeting the voters. it mooerd almost the state results. charleston along the coast,
considered to be more moderate than other parts of the state and that could be a strong spot for mitt romney. finally we go to orie county, and that's the home of myrtle beach. it's a mixed bag. it's where a lot of transplants have settled. now we go to my colleague paul. everyone knows the caucus is the first primary, but this in a lot more ways is a lot more critical, isn't it? >> oh, yeah. going back to 1980, everyone won. gary, a week ago mitt romney had a double digits in the polls. now they're almost even. looking ahead to next week, remember, florida, the next state. all four presidential candidates, all four remaining republican candidates will be in our debate, cnn debate in jacksonville. we're here in south carolina. we're also looking a hi ed to
florida, gary. >> boy, it's really a very important time. yesterday was actually a year before the inauguration for next year, so we're in the final count, but this could be the key day, paul. paul, thank you very much. it is a big day for politics in south carolina. and today on cnn, it's going to be politics all day. tune in at 4:00 p.m. eastern time to see the candidate dees bait the issues from thursday night's edge-of-your-seat debate and at 6:00 p.m. special coverage of the south carolina debates begin. see the results as they come in right here on cnn. and here are some of the other headlines we're watching this morning. there is other news. search crews are back at work right now around the "costa concordia." the cruise ship is still half submerged off the italian coast. the italian navy blew bigger holes into the hull to look for
survivors or victims. they spent most of the night looking over the boat that's above the water. nigeria has a curfew follow deadly attacks. police say they opened fire and bombed eight government sites. at least seven people have been killed. it's feared the toll could go much higher. the militant islamic group reportedly has claimed responsibility. well, meteorologist reynolds wolf is in the weather center right now. there's severe weather, snow, rain, disrupting voting, looks like in south carolina. >> absolutely. you really could pick your poison with the wide variety of weather around the country. as gary mentioned we have a chance of strong storms, perhaps tornados. notice right there you see a little bit of a rectangle on the map. that's where we have a tornado watch that would be in effect midday. i would not surprise if the storm prediction center shifts
that more to the east, perhaps south carolina, maybe north carolina before the day is over. i'll tell you how long the rough stuff is going t last. all that is coming up in a few moments. >> thank you, reynolds. many of the campaign ads are paid for by super pacs. but just what is a super pac? we're here to explain. and where did all the movie fans go. we'll show you why the film industry is suffering from box office blues. sounds like the name of a movie itself, "box office blues." plus, we've heard plenty of horror stories from the cruise ship disaster. to climb.mountains ♪ dreams to be realized. ♪ new worlds to be explored and hearts to be won. quaker oats. energy to get you going, fiber to help fill you up and help keep your heart healthy.
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new capzasin, takes the pain out of arthritis. it's 10:14 on the east coast, 7:14 on the west. meteorologist reynolds wolf is nearby. the voters in south carolina have been casting their ballots for the last three hours. rain or sun for the palmetto state today? >> looks like it's going to be rain more than anything else. once they leave the voting booths, more rain to follow. let me show you the live image one more time, and you can see right toward the middle of the screen, you can see a world of coke, the aquarium, and in the background, all rain. this's not the front itself
moving through but a thing called prefront frontal trough and we have a chance of seeing a chance of tornadoes. that rectangle on the scereen i our tonight wat our tornado watch. now, the reason why we're seeing all this is very simple. we've got a frontal boundary that's moving right through parts of the state and into much of the southeast. the top half of the system is bringing weather in an entirely different flavor. we're talking snow, 3 to 5 possible for parts of the northeast, but in the pacific northwest, it's heavy snow, especially in the cascades. they've been waiting, waiting, waiting for the snow. here it comes. between eugene and redmond and all you ski freaks are going to be happy as can be. the snow is going to continue to pile up. breckenridge and steamboat springs is going to have snow.
not quite as deep, 2 to 4, maybe as much as 5 in boston, rhode island and back into connecticut. your highs today, 33. 58 in denver, 62 in albuquerque. 39 in billings. 20 degrees in minneapolis. 29 in chicago. the rain and snow moving away from chicago but still cold here in place as you shovel off the walk. 29 in new york, 37 in wach washington, 69 in atlanta. gary, i would suspect the travel delays are going to line up. it could be a frus tating day. you have to be careful. who ease paying the big bucks for the air time? not the candidates in most cases. we'll get into that right after the break.
the voters who are headed to the polls now in south carolina have been inundated by campaign ads this past week. they're breaking down the numbers. leading the pack, mitt romney. it's estimated his campaign has spent more than a half a million dollar in ads. in south carolina alone. close behind him, ron paul, $460,000 spent. in third, rick santorum, $376,000. and before you drop down to rick perry's campaign, remember, he's not even in this race, he spent $218,000. that was where he was hoping to make his comeback. that didn't happen. in last place in south carolina, newt gingrich. those are the ads for the cam
pans. there's something brand new in this campaign race. super pax. tens of millions of dollars are flowing in like never before. super papacs. what are super pacs. josh levs is breaking this down. >> look. pretty soon the whole country is going to be seeing them. especially battleground states. we're used to sees ads that support or attack candidates. what we have not seen before is the unlimited of these groups called super pacs. that's because they're new. they're the results of two court decisions in 2010. one was from the supreme court two years ago today. basically these groups can take unlimited donations from corporations, unions, et cetera. traditional can only take in limited contributions. the rule is they cannot
coordinate their spending with candidates. critics say it's ultimately ridiculous because the ads that the super pacs put out are echoing the candidates' messages anyway. it circumvents having campaign finance limits but supporters say it's absolutely free speech thamd should be allowed. it's said that the new rules change it to a house of mirrors. they have a way of helping to fund money now have an outsize way to help candidates by funneling their money. stephen colbert, jon stewart of comedy central. s sat tire icing. expect a slew of ads from all
sides and it will especially be true in the battleground state. >> is there a way to accurately characterize money? >> yeah. listen to this figure. more than $33 million have already been spent by the super pac s. this is in the 2012 sickle. i want you to all see this and a lot more. go to c n n dann.com/josh. facebook and twitter. i want you to know the next hour i'll be back with you and we're going to break down specifically which super pacs out there have put in how much money in support of which candidates. they'll be here in the next hour. >> we're still 9 1/2 hours away. >> a lot of commercials. >> a lot of money for local tv stations around the country. well, dinner and a movie just isn't what it used to be. we'll take a look at why movie theaters are hurting and what
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going to the movies used to be a friday or saturday night tradition, but traditions change, as does our appetite for entertainment. kareen wynter takes a look at the falling fortunes aet the box office. >> reporter: going to the movies, it's been a favorite pastime for americans for more than a century, but is that changing? >> it's always like a has toll just go to the movie theaters. >> most of the movies i'll just wait. >> technically they're very interesting but very little substance. >> prices are so out of control. >> reporter: seems like everyone feels that way. consumers sent a clear message about movies in 2011 by holding onto money. >> 2011 was a tough year at the box office for hollywood. we saw the lowest attendance since 1999, and r 1995, and rev
down. >> reporter: paul traction everything. movie industry leaders downplay the drop. >> it wound up not as bad as they were predicting. down 3% to 4%. you'll find out over the years it goes up 3%, 4%, down 3%, 4%. >> reporter: what was 2011 missing at the movies? according to him, a holiday blockbuster. >> there was no movie like "titanic" or "avatar." >> reporter: those who stayed away from the mega plex were watching movies at home. i watch it on hulu or netflix. >> we watch films on our tv. we have the wi-fi on your tv where it comes up automatically, so that's really convenient. it's a lot more convenient than dvds. >> reporter: despite a 20% drop in dvd sales, blu-ray saw a
rise. >> they take a little bit of this, a little bit of that, you know, a little bit of video, a little bit of going the movie theater, a little bit of download, a and that becomes the way you consume entertainment. in the end the consumer wins but all these other industries that rely on the consumer are going to have to scramble and figure how to play catch-up with that audience. >> reporter: wherever the audience goes, there's something about movie magic and hollywood glamour that will always draw a crowd. kareen wynter, cn, hollywood. >> thanks, kareen. did one moment put newt gingrich over the top for a potential primary victory today? i'll find out what our political strategists think about it right after this.
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it's 29 minutes past the hour. welcome back. i'm gary tuchman. thank you very much for starting your day with us. checking the top stories, south carolina voters have been casting their ballots for 3 1/2 hours now in the state's gop primary. mitt romney is looking to score victory number two. it's a very close race between him and newt gingrich. nigerian curfew. an islamic group is claims responsibility. divers have resumed their search for any more survives of the italian cruise ship the "costa concordia." crews are also looking how to remove 2,300 tons of fuel from
a quick programming note. all four remaining candidates have agreed to take part in the next cnn debate in jacksonville, florida. we'll be at the university of florida next thursday night, 8:00 p.m. eastern time. the spotlight has been on newt gingrich. his ex-wife has been on a television interview accusing him of wanting a, quote, open marriage. here's how he answered the
question at thursday night's cnn debate. >> i think -- i think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for office and i am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that. >> the last poll shows gingrich and romney nearly a dead heat in south carolina. joining me to talk about the race, cnn political contributor and strategist and a republican strategist. we're having a little problem with maria's signal. we'll get back to her, we promise. but we're going to start this conversation with you, lenny. the first question i want to ask you, in the debate thursday, everyone's talking about it. i was wondering what you think about newt gingrich's answer.
do you think it helps give him momentum to give him a win in south carolina? >> reporter: it did. i think it galvanized them behind him. they feel there's a liberal bias in the media. he played straight to that. he also was able to attack the whole question of his ex-wife coming up, the timing of it, and still pivoted against president obama. he did it in a brilliant fashion. he did it from the outset. he did it with passion. it was enough to get the crowd on his side and it may have been enough to get the conservative base here in south carolina behind him where if we leave south carolina with a newt gingrich victory tonight, we'll have santorum with a victory in iowa, romney with a victory in new hampshire, gingrich with a victory in south carolina and game seriously on in florida. >> yeah, florida will certainly be fascinating from a strategic standpoint if newt gingrich wins
tonight. if mitt romney wins, it will be a different showing. that certainly could see meant mitt romney for the nomination. maria is with us right now. what i want to ask you is how important is it that newt gingrich wins tonight or has a very strong second-place showing? >> well, let's hear what he himself has said which not long ago he said south carolina has been the end all be all with him. i think going into this, what we have seen with the gingrich surge is a couple of things. first his tremendous performances at the debate. second, the question lenny was just talking about, the slapdown against the question about his ex-wife, but also this is interesting because as many voters say they don't like negative campaigning and as many of the political scientists say that this has been the nastiest campaign yet in south carolina with all the negative ads, they
work. newt gingrich was able to put a lot of negative campaign ads up through his super pac, and they work the same way they work for mitt romney against newt gingrich in iowa and in new hampshire. and so i think this is to be all and end all for newt gingrich if he wants to go on and at least be considered to be competitive for the nomination against mitt romney. >> i wonder as a democrat, do you look at it cynically in the way he answered the first question? >> reporter: of course. it was political theatrics at its best, and he knew he was going to get the question and john king was right to ask it, be i the way, because it was an issue that was on voters' minds, especially because his ex-wife had just given that interview. but newt gingrich was clearly playing to the crowd, there's no question about it. he went up yard ward and cong t
congratulated john king on a tremendous debate performance. >> for the record, be i the way, when they say the elite media, it doesn't mean to attack democrats. we're talking rod blagojevich and -- we bring the story out. we do want to mention that. we do want to ask you, lenny. mitt romney, one of the problems he seems to be having is answering questions about his taxes. it was brought up the way his father dealt with it. listen to what he said in the debate thursday night. >> i don't know how many years i'll release. aisle take a look at what our documents are. and i'll release multiple years, i don't know how many years, but i'll be happy to do that. >> why do you think, lenny, that he's had so many problems with this issue? >> he's not coming forth with a very clear message.
again, he's trying to find a way to connect to the grassroots. he's the establishment guy in a nonestablished era when it comes to american politics. he's trying to connect to testifyday american and his background doesn't relate to that. if you look at his electorate record he's herman cain plus one electoral victory. if you look for herman cain, he ran for the senate, and he lost. mitt romney ran for the senate, he lost. mitt romney has pretty much one more electoral victory than herman cain. same background. businessman. how is he going to be able to connect with the americans? if he doesn't message with them properly, this is going to stay in the way and stay a problem. unfortunately he hasn't been clear with it. he's stumbling over it. with griffin being clear with his attacksed on his ex-wife issues, there's a clear process. >> one thing i don't understand
is why aren't all these guys having problems with the taxes? rick santorum said i'm not home, i'm not in front of my computer. that was the funniest thing. ron paul says i'd be embarrassed. this guy going to be president of the united states. release your taxes, right? >> newt gingrich did it and it worked well for him. >> what do you think, lenny? why don't they release their taxes for crying out loud? >> you can do that -- >> lepy? >> go ahead, lenny. >> i was going to say, you can do that. i mean santorum gave a pretty decent answer to try to avoid the issue. the bottom line is you want to see more transparity from people, i think. paul gave a deft answer to try to avoid it. ron paul gave it, our family's away as if his wife doesn't have the password to the computer. they found a way to avoid it and stuck it back on romney, which was inzwrenlt. why get in his way the way he's stumbling all over himself, the same way they let perry stumble
all over himself and herman cain. they got out of the way. right now the romney campaign has a crisis it has to handle because the imaging is not matching the structure that it has for the long haul. >> lenny and maria, your insight is grail if's fascinating and interesting. appreciate it. >> thank you. thank you, gary. god bless you both. >> thank you. that's a very nice thing to hear. tune in at 4:00 eastern time today. that's about 5 hours 2507b8d minutes from now. you will see an amazing debate from last thursday night that john king hosted so well. two hours later. cnn's special report. it will begin with wolf blitzer, anderson cooper and the best political team on television. by this time tomorrow we will know who won and who may have -- may, i emphasize, we'll have a good idea who will remain the
a young organ recipient is honoring by giving back to his community. that makes him this week's cnn hero. >> when michael was born, he was normal. he was active. he ran around, played football. he was like any other child. and one day he just got sick. >> in 2008 when i was 11 years old, was diagnosed with liver failure. >> they told me straight up if he does not get a liver transplant he will do.
>> it was halloween and the doctor walked in. >> he walked in and said i hate to sound like a grim reaper. it's raining outside and it's halloween. i've been doing it for your 30 years. somebody is going to die. you're going to get a live sneer this guy right here, johnny hernandez, he was 18 years old, he was killed in a motorcycle accident. his family gave me something, which was a liver from their son. so i pay them back by feeding the homeless in honor of johnny hernandez. >> it was his idea. >> december 25th, 2008, we took 25 meals and drove around. ever since we've fed. every time we feed, we promote donor awareness. >> we sign up at least 30 people to become organ donors at each event we have. >> it's important to help the community. without you, there is no
community. >> mikey is truly a young wonder. >> remember all of our cnn heroes come from your suggestions. so if there's anything impacting your life or community in a positive way, go to cnnheroes.com and tell us all about it. south carolina, the south carolina showdown. mitt romney and newt gingrich face off. they were both scheduled to arrive at tommy's country ham house in greenville, south carolina, at the same time, but somebody got their early. we're taking you there live in just moments. on my journey acro, i've learned that when you ask someone in texas if they want "big" savings on car insurance, it's a bit like asking if they want a big hat... ...'scuse me... ...or a big steak... ...or big hair... i think we have our answer.
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the morning rush at your local diner has nothing on tommy's henhouse in greenville, south carolina. that's because mitt romney and newt gingrich were scheduled to be there the exact same time this morning but somebody jumped the gun and cnn's jim acosta is in a very noisy restaurant joining us on the phone. jim, what happened? >> reporter: hey, gary. it looks like you can say mitt
romney got the upper ham here at tommy's ham house. he got here earlier. a little earlier than expected. newt gingrich is talking right now. he took off before gingrich arrived and then not missing a beat, the former speaker walked inside this restaurant and said, here's mitt, i was hoping for a little debate. game man "showbiz flashpoint" going on here at the ham house this morning. >> jim, that's really disappointing. was looking forward to them being in the restaurant at the same time. we talked to the restaurant owner who said he arranged it so they could both be in there with their supporters. i guess that really is gamesman ship, isn't it? >> i guess so. they know it maggy go well for them so why make things even more, complicated, when it comes to the objects and the images, but voters at home are saying come in, do the event, get out early and let gingrich have his
moment. they're still voting. we'll have to wait and see what happens tonight. you know, voters were pressing the romney people inside earlier thi this morning as to why they were showing up early and they wouldn't answer the question. you know, you sort of fly by the seat of your pants out there. things are changing minute by minute. and there are reasons as to why these campaigns may be sufficient, showing up early, showing up later. my guess is that they did not want to have that sort of confrontation between both sides. and it might not have been a bad idea. >> jim, flying by the seat of our pants. that's why we like covering this stuff so much. you did a great job. loin you have some of the pancakes or bacon or something good for breakfast. >> reporter: you know i will. >> jim acosta, everybody. we have brand-new poll to show you out of south carolina. brand new. look at this.
this american search survey shows gingrich opening up over mitt romney. 40% to 26%. those are stunning numbers compared to a few days ago when romney was conducted. this poll was conducted on thursday and friday, yesterday and the day before. this would reflect what they're reflecting and after rick perry dropped out. wow. this is a big day for politics in south carolina. a big day for the united states because what happened in south carolina could affect very much who is the republican nominee. tune in at 4:00 eastern time today to see the candidates debate a repeat of the thursday debate that kept everyone on the edge of their seats. and then two hours after that, after the debate, right after the debate at 6:00 eastern, that's our special live coverage of the south carolina primary. join the best political team on tv to watch the results from south carolina as they come in here, right here on cnn.
stories, a funny story about tim tebow and also a nice poignant story about a former coach. >> he has had a couple of tough weeks, a couple weeks ago, 21-year-old michael was found dead in a wisconsin river. he drowned. he has six kids. obviously it's been a terrible couple of weeks and then of courses the packers favored to win the super bowl got beat by the giants. it was a surprising loss for them. now we're seeing something positive happen in his life. he's now been hired as a new head coach for the miami dolphins. imagine getting best job you've ever had in your career but you're dealing with an enormous personal tragedy. he was an offensive coordinator since 2007. the dolphins like how he's handled the entire situation. they feel like he's the right man for the job. miami has had seven coaches in the last eight years.
they onto one eight games this last season so he's got quite the task on him. >> tim tebow, that's the funnier story. >> tim tebow has been fascinating. he's been the talk of the team. there's a restaurant now making a tim tebow toss pizza. he's come up with several interesting portrait pizzas. hen down to alabama if you're a stee bow fan. joe carter, thank you very much. good talking to you. a survivor of the italian cruise ship disaster said he could see the fear and panic in other passengers' eyes. he took this video of that chaotic night and he's talking about the heroes who helped more than 4,000 people get to safe ground.
more. >> reporter: in the darkness, a few glimpses of the chaos caught by one passenger evacuating the "costa concordia." as the ship tilts to one side, he said there was utter panic. >> translator: when the ship leaned, we were very scared because we didn't know if it with us going to stop. you could see the fear in people's eyes. >> reporter: when this was happening, when the boat was tilting to one side, what instructions, what help were you getting from the crew members? >> translator: some were given the wrong information, told to go back to the cabins. some helped us. but we could hear everything is under control, there's just a problem with the generator. >> reporter: that with this
footage of a crew member trying to calm alarmed passengers. the seriousness of the damage was clearly being played down. the captain and other senior officers were nowhere to be seen. >> translator: no. neither the captain nor any officer at all. >> reporter: and when the evacuation finally began, there were passengers like leo, a hairdresser from rome, who took control, who worked with crew member, saving others before themselves. >> translator: there were people in wheelchairs, so we dragged them out and help thoemd to the liveboats. i managed to get three children. we went downstairs and pulled out trapped crew members. i don't know if there were waiters. >> reporter: were there any heroes onboard?